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Planning to immigrate to the US? Think about living in the State of Wisconsin

This wonderland of beer, cheese and the Green Bay Packers has a highly ranked quality of life, dynamic communities, a low cost for housing and child care along with short commute times. A working environment with a history of innovation and a demand for uncommon thinking.

Data and Reasons to move to Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area (169,640 km2 – 65,498.37 sq. mi) and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties. And has a Population of 5,813,568.

Four distinct seasons, dynamic and diverse employers, active and safe cities. Wisconsin features Fortune 500 companies, growing communities with modern apartments and newly constructed homes, top tier colleges, accessible and award-winning healthcare, performing arts and live music, and every outdoor and indoor hobby you can imagine. 

Wisconsin Facts and trivia

  1. Wisconsin ranks #4 in the nation for overall health care quality, as reported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2018.
  2. During the summer, the population of Door County reaches ten times the number of year-round residents. (28,000 vs. 250,000).
  3. Marathon County produces nearly all of the ginseng grown in the U.S. and about 10 percent of the world’s supply. There’s even an international festival in September to give you an up-close look at the process and a chance to taste foods and drinks incorporating the product.
  4. Although Warrens, WI only has 400 residents, it draws 100,000 visitors each September for the world’s largest cranberry festival (and Wisconsin produces 60 percent of the nation’s cranberries!).
  5. Thirty percent of the state’s population lives in the five-county metropolitan area around Milwaukee.
  6. The largest woolly mammoth ever excavated was found in Kenosha, and a replica can be viewed at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
  7. Enjoy the many rides at America’s Largest Waterpark. Wisconsin is the waterpark capital of the world. Wisconsin Dells has many indoor and outdoor waterparks, including the nation’s largest water park, Noah’s Ark. No matter the season, you’ll be slipping and sliding and screaming for more.
  8. Wisconsin Is the Great Dairy State for a reason. Wisconsinites do dairy a lot, and they do it well. In fact, about 16% of the nation’s milk alone comes from Wisconsin. If you want the best cheese and ice cream, you can head anywhere in Wisconsin and will not be disappointed.
  9. You’ll never want to be indoors. With 47 state parks, 13 state forests, 76 state wildlife areas, 84,000 river miles and 15,000 lakes, the Dairy State is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Wisconsin is full of interesting and unique geography to explore.
  10. With an average of 2,500 performers, Milwaukee’s Summerfest is the nation’s largest music festival.
  11. Wisconsin ranks in the top 10 states in the US for the quality of their public education.

Resources:

 

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British Columbia PNP EI Regional Pilot – List of Participating Communities

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot (EI – Regional Pilot) is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs from around the world to establish businesses in one of the 31 participating communities in British Columbia.

The province recently confirmed the list of the enrolled communities by Development Regions[1]. The following communities are participating in the BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot. Each of the bellow listed communities identified priority economic development industries, and selected prospective applicants to the BC PNP.

 

Cariboo Region

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Mackenzie

Population: 3,883

115 – Support activities for agriculture and forestry
213 – Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction
721  – Accommodation services

Mackenzie is a friendly community of about 3,700 residents nestled between the Rocky and Omineca Mountains. We are open for business and willing to work with potential investors. We invite you to explore the opportunities Mackenzie has to offer!
– Community website: https://www.districtofmackenzie.ca

Prince George

Population: 74,003

448 – Clothing and clothing accessories stores
493 – Warehousing and storage
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

Located in central British Columbia on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, Prince George has a population of 74,003 and serves a region of nearly 320,000 people.
– Community website: https://www.princegeorge.ca

Quesnel

Population: 10,378

311 – Food manufacturing
541  – Professional, scientific and technical services
722 – Food services and drinking places

Located in the central interior of British Columbia, in Quesnel, we live life to the fullest. With affordable housing costs, accessible amenities, and short commutes, we’re able to get out and enjoy the nature that surrounds us.
– Community website: https://www.quesnel.ca

Williams Lake

Population: 11,359

561 – Administrative and support services
611 – Educational services
722  – Food services and drinking places

Williams Lake is the “hub” of the Cariboo and a vital part of the Hwy 97 Cariboo Connector – the gateway to Northern B.C.  Less than 600KM from Vancouver, Williams Lake serves as the business centre for much of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.
– Community website: https://www.williamslake.ca

 

Kootenay Region

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Castlegar

Population: 8,000

113 – Forestry and logging
453  – Miscellaneous store retailers
484 – Truck transportation

Located halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, Castlegar is projected to be the Kootenay’s fastest growing community in the next 20 years. Castlegar is home to Selkirk College. The region’s main economic drivers are Forestry, Education and Transport.
– Community website: https://www.castlegar.ca

Kimberley

Population: 7,425

321 – Wood product manufacturing
339  – Miscellaneous manufacturing
611 – Educational services

Kimberley is a growing community located in southeastern British Columbia with easy access to major markets by road or the Canadian Rockies International Airport (15 min drive from city). Kimberley offers low land cost, no development cost charges.
– Community website: http://www.kimberley.ca

Nelson

Population: 10,572

321 – Wood product manufacturing
339 – Miscellaneous manufacturing
541  – Professional, scientific and technical services

Nelson and area is one of B.C.’s richest resource regions. Nelson’s climate, location, & quality workforce have helped create a robust diverse economy including tourism, retail, food & beverage, education, health services, manufacturing, and technology.
– Community website: http://www.nelson.ca

Regional District of Central Kootenay (Area J)

Population: 3,500

113 – Forestry and logging
236 – Construction of buildings
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities

The Regional District of Central Kootenay – Area J includes the communities of Ootischenia, Robson, Renata, Deer Park, Brooklyn, Shields, Raspberry, Syringa and Fairview.
Located across the river from Castlegar, Area J is projected to be among the Kootenay’s fastest growing communities in the next 20 years. The region’s main economic drivers are Forestry, Education and Transport.
– Community website: https://www.rdck.ca

Rossland

Population: 3,904

236 – Construction of buildings
518 – Data processing, hosting, and related services
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

The City of Rossland, tucked high in the Monashee Mountains, is known as both “Canada’s Alpine City”. Slightly higher, Red Mountain Ski Resort’s an incredible tourist destination for world class skiing in winter and mountain biking in the summer.
– Community website: https://www.rossland.ca

Trail

Population: 8,122

332 – Fabricated metal product manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
562 – Waste management and remediation services

The City of Trail, also known as “the Silver City”, is nestled along the mighty Columbia River. It was settled in the 1890s and is home to one of the world’s largest metallurgical complexes because of the historical mining industry in the region.
– Community website: http://www.trail.ca   

 

Mainland/Southwest Region

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Gibsons

Population: 4,605

339 – Miscellaneous manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
611  – Educational services

Gibsons is a coastal community located in southwestern British Columbia, Canada on the Strait of Georgia, approx. 40 km northwest of Vancouver. The Town’s compact boundaries encompass only 4,600 residents.
– Community website: https://www.gibsons.ca

Sechelt

Population: 10,216

115  – Support activities for agriculture and forestry
236 – Construction of buildings
238 – Specialty trade contractors

The District of Sechelt is the largest population centre in the heart of the Sunshine Coast. Located about 30 km north of the ferry terminal that connects the Sunshine Coast to the Lower Mainland, Sechelt has a population of 10,216.
– Community website: https://www.sechelt.ca

Squamish

Population: 20,799

321 – Wood product manufacturing
511  – Publishing industries
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services

Nestled between the west coast metropolis of Vancouver and the world-famous resort of Whistler, Squamish has access to global markets, and a strong workforce without the congestion and aggravation of urban life.
– Community website: https://squamish.ca/business-and-development/economic-development/bcpnp/

Sunshine Coast Regional District – Egmont and Pender Harbour (Area A)

Population: 2,624

321 – Wood product manufacturing
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

Located at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast Peninsula, the Pender Harbour area is a complex maze of inlets, islands, coves, and lakes. The scattered community of settlements includes Madeira Park, Beaver Island, Garden Bay and Irvines Landing. To the north are Kleindale, Sakinaw Lake, Ruby Lake, Earl’s Cove, Egmont, Skookumchuck Narrows and the waterways up Jervis Inlet.
The Egmont/Pender Harbour area is home to several marinas and numerous tourist accommodations, artists’ studios, local shops, restaurants, a health centre and the School of Music.
– Community website: http://www.scrd.ca/Area-A—Pender-Harbour–Egmont

Sunshine Coast Regional District – Halfmoon Bay (Area B)

Population: 2,726

321 – Wood product manufacturing
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

The Halfmoon Bay (Area B) includes includes Porpoise Bay from Tuwanek to the Skookumchuk, Salmon and Narrows Inlet, Redrooffs, Welcome Woods, Halfmoon Bay, Secret Cove and Wood Bay. It also includes the Trail Islands, Merry Island, Franklin Island, North Thormanby Island, South Thormanby Island, Bertha Island, Capri Isle, France Islet, Grant Island, Jack Tolmie Island and Turnagain Island.
The Halfmoon Bay Area has gentle bays and coves that provide several protected harbours for marine traffic; the area includes several parks as well as diving spots, hiking and mountain biking trails.
– Community website: http://www.scrd.ca/Area-B—Halfmoon-Bay

Sunshine Coast Regional District – Roberts Creek (Area D)

Population: 3,421

321 – Wood product manufacturing
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

Roberts Creek is a residential and beach area located between the Elphinstone area and the District of Sechelt.
Roberts Creek includes a paved bike path that runs parallel to the highway; a golf course, Cliff Gilker Park, a family-oriented hiking area. Roberts Creek is also the location for several important regional amenities.
– Community website: http://www.scrd.ca/Area-D—Roberts-Creek

Sunshine Coast Regional District – Elphinstone (Area E)

Population: 3,664

321 – Wood product manufacturing
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

Elphinstone is a small, but populated area surrounding the north, west and south of Gibsons.
The southernmost area in the SCRD, Elphinstone is home to an agricultural plateau where early farm settlements are still operational. Elphinstone also includes large tracts of undeveloped land, small businesses, residential areas, parks and a pioneer cemetery.
– Community website: http://www.scrd.ca/Area-e—Elphinstone

Sunshine Coast Regional District – West Howe Sound (Area F)

Population: 2,043

321 – Wood product manufacturing
623  – Nursing and residential care facilities
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

The communities of West Howe Sound stretch along the lower roadway (Marine Drive) from Gibsons, to the ferry terminal, past the ferry terminal towards Port Mellon, and up the ferry bypass route into Upper Gibsons and Area E – Elphinstone.
The West Howe Sound area includes Langdale, Port Mellon, Williamson’s Landing, Granthams Landing, Soames, Hopkins Landing, and Gambier and Keats Islands. Although this is the most lightly populated area in the SCRD, it has the highest growth rate in the Regional District.
 – Community website: http://www.scrd.ca/Area-F—West-Howe-Sound

 

Thompson-Okanagan

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Barriere

Population: 1,763

321 – Wood product manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries

A beautiful place to raise a family, start a business or retire in an affordable, safe community. Abundant recreation is at your doorstep in a relaxing home-town atmosphere. Just 45 minutes scenic commute to the city of Kamloops.
– Community website: http://www.barriere.ca

Merritt

Population: 7,526

484 – Truck Transportation
453 – Miscellaneous store retailers
493 – Warehousing and storage

The City of Merritt is located at the hub of major transportation routes, offering direct links to provincial and international markets, education facilities, a youthful labour force, while providing residents with mild winters and warm summers.
– Community website: www.merritt.ca

Vernon

Population: 42,574

311  – Food manufacturing
452 – General merchandise stores
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services

Vernon is surrounded by three lakes and is known for its hot summers and mild winters. Vernon’s casual lifestyle, rich agricultural bounty and spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities has attracted residents from across the globe.
– Community website: https://www.vernon.ca/pnp

 

Nechako

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Burns Lake

Population: 7,500

111  – Crop production
238 – Specialty trade contractors
339 – Miscellaneous manufacturing

Burns Lake and the greater area known as the Lakes District is an example of northern regeneration. The economy is diversifying, building on our strength in forestry, while encouraging growth in tourism, agriculture, technology and small business.
– Community website: https://www.burnslake.ca

 

North Coast

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Terrace

Population: 13,000

115 – Support activities for agriculture and forestry
213 – Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction
339 – Miscellaneous manufacturing

Centrally located in Northwest B.C., Terrace is home to many of the regions business and government services. The City is situated along the Skeena River with excellent access to neighbouring communities and major urban centres by road, rail and air.
– Community website: https://www.terrace.ca | https://terrace.ecdev.org

 

Northeast

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Tumbler Ridge

Population: 2,130

611 – Educational services
713  – Amusement, gambling and recreation industries
721 – Accommodation services

The second of three Global Geoparks in North America, our spectacular mountain wilderness setting of forests, waterfalls, rock formations, dinosaur footprints, lakes, canyons and caves provide spectacular associated business start-up opportunities. 
– Community website: https://www.InvestTumblerRidge.ca | https://www.TumblerRidge.ca | https://www.DistrictOfTumblerRidge.ca

 

Vancouver Island/Coast

 

Information

Priority Sectors

Community Description

Comox

Population: 14,850

311 – Food manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
721  – Accommodation services

Comox is the second-largest municipality in the Comox Valley (CV) and contains a multitude of economic assets that are significant on a regional scale, including a vibrant harbour and adjacent waterfront areas, the downtown, 19 Wing Comox and the CV Airport (YQQ).
 – Community website: https://www.investcomoxvalley.com

Comox Valley Regional District – Baynes Sound – Denman/Hornby Island (Area A)

Population: 7,213

311 – Food manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
721  – Accommodation services

Baynes Sound – Denman/Hornby Islands (Electoral Area A) begins at the southern boundary of Courtenay and stretches south to Cook Creek, the most southerly boundary of the CVRD. It includes Royston, Union Bay and Fanny Bay, and both Denman/Hornby.
– Community website: https://www.investcomoxvalley.com

Comox Valley Regional District – Lazo North (Area B)

Population: 7,095

311 – Food manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
721  – Accommodation services

Lazo North (Electoral Area B) includes the Comox Peninsula, Little River, Balmoral Beach Area, Point Holmes, Bates Beach, Huband Road and the Tsolum regions.
– Community website: https://www.investcomoxvalley.com

Comox Valley Regional District – Puntledge – Black Creek (Area C)

Population: 8,617

311 – Food manufacturing
541 – Professional, scientific and technical services
721  – Accommodation services

Puntledge – Black Creek (Electoral Area C) includes Merville, Black Creek, Dove Creek, Saratoga Beach, Mount Washington, and northern boundary of the Oyster River for CVRD.
– Community website: https://www.investcomoxvalley.com

 

References:

 

 

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15 in-demand jobs in Canada that are waiting to be filled right now

15 in-demand jobs in Canada that are waiting to be filled right now
You don’t want to find just any job. You want to explore careers in demand so that you pick a field that has greater potential for job security and high pay. Well, guess what? That’s more than possible. After all, many of the in-demand jobs in Canada for the next five years offer great earning opportunities since employers need to attract and retain quality workers due to anticipated labour shortages. And with growing retirement rates expected among the baby boomer generation (i.e., among people born between the years of about 1946 and 1965), now is an excellent time for you to set out on a new career path.
Looking at online job postings and how long they stay online across platforms we can see which vocations most in demand by Canadian employers are and how long those positions take to fill.
Job postings that stay up the longest indicate a perpetual need or a difficulty to fill.
So, we’ve put together a list of the most sought-after vocations for which there are constantly available job openings advertised online.

Here are the 15 most in-demand occupations in Canada right now
Truck drivers
Registered nurses
Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks
Skilled Trade Workers
Financial managers
Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations
Cooks
Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
Barbers, Hairdressers, and Beauticians
Couriers and delivery people
Customer Service Reps
Food and Beverage Servers
Healthcare Technicians
Administrative Assistants
Advertising, Marketing and PR Managers

These jobs typically take approximately 45 days to fill. Job posting data shows that Truck Drivers and Nurses usually take the longest to fill at about 55 days – or eight weeks.
The job with the shortest job posting period is Administrative Assistants, which averages 36 days, or just over five weeks.
Recruitment firm ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey recently identified a similar list of the most difficult jobs to hire for in Canada. Their findings also show a need for workers for both blue collar and white-collar jobs.

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20 Reasons You Should Apply to Get a Green Card

20 Reasons…

If you are considering in immigrating to the United States, you might want to get a Green Card? You should as there are countless benefits to having one.
1. When it comes to jobs, some security checks require applicants to either be U.S. citizens or hold Green Card status. Thus, having a Green Card opens greater job possibilities.

2. You can leave and enter the U.S. without fear of being denied re-entry by immigration officials, though you should bring your Green Card to provide evidence of your status.

3. You do not require employer sponsorship to work and can obtain employment in any U.S. territory provided it does not require U.S. citizenship.

4. You can alleviate the burden of rising college costs by having a Green Card; having a Green Card allows you to apply for government-sponsored financial aid.

5. Along with that, having Green Card holders pay “resident tuition” at colleges which is substantially cheaper than what foreigners pay for college.

6. If you got your family a Green Card, it will still be valid even if you die or lose your job.

7. If you’re here on a work visa, your spouse and any unmarried child under 21 can stay as dependents; once children obtain Green Cards of their own, though, they are allowed to stay even after turning 21 or upon being married.

8. You can help your spouse and unmarried child by serving as their sponsor to obtain permanent status; information on sponsoring your spouse can be found here.

9. If you work for a total of 40 quarters (which comes out to 10 years, 4 quarters each year), you are eligible by your Green Card status for Social Security benefits upon retirement.

10. The ability to start your own business or form a corporation.

11. Temporary permits are subject to changes in immigration rules which could result in deportation; Green Card holders have immunity against any such changes.

12. Since many banks require proof of long-term U.S. residence such as a Green Card or long-term visa before granting mortgages, it may be easier to obtain a mortgage if you have a Green Card.

13. Green Card holders are also eligible for government grants and have access to security clearances.

14. One big advantage in having a Green Card is that you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship later.

15. As a Green Card holder, you are entitled to most legal rights under U.S. law

16. As a Green Card holder, you can own firearms, property, and cars like other U.S. citizens.

17. You are legally allowed to make contributions to political campaigns if you have a Green Card or U.S. citizenship status.

18. A lot of insurance companies require at least a Green Card before providing health or life insurance.

19. There may also be a possible tax benefit to Green Card holders taxed as “non-resident” in their home country.

20. Different than visa holders, those with Green Cards can stay permanently anywhere in the United States.

If you need help with obtaining a green card, you can contact us with your legal needs for an assessment of our EB- programs.

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What’s the minimum wage in each Canadian province and territory?

New Minimum Wage…

If you’re planning to work or to become an entrepreneur in Canada the different legal minimum wages in each of Canada’s provinces for 2018 might be of your interest, they have a varying labour standard that sets the minimum wage that an employer can pay to employees who are covered by the legislation. The rates are as follows:


Having in mind that employers can choose to pay more than the minimum wage if they wish to, and that is important to research for the wages of your skills and jobs you’re looking for.

Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada
Nova Scotia has Canada’s lowest minimum wage, at $11.00 per hour, though this will rise annually in line with the Consumer Price Index and Average Hourly Wage.
A special lower minimum wage for liquor servers exists in some provinces. Generally speaking, this minimum wage rate applies to waiters, waitresses and bartenders who serve liquor directly to customers in bars, restaurants, clubs and other licensed premises. In Ontario and in British Columbia the rate is set at $12.20 per hour and $11.40 per hour respectively.
Highest Minimum Wage in Canada
Alberta has Canada’s highest minimum wage, at $15.00 per hour.

Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates for Experienced Adult Workers in Canada
Minimum wage across the Prairies went up during 2018. For 2019 British Columbia is expecting to set the rate at $13.85, on June 1st. And the government has announced that the minimum wage will further rise to $14.60 on June 1st, 2020 and to $15.20 on June 1st, 2021.


Sources:
Government of Canada http://srv116.services.gc.ca/dimt-wid/sm-mw/rpt1.aspx
Retail Council of Canada https://www.retailcouncil.org/resources/quick-facts/minimum-wage-by-province/
Government of Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/minimum-wage

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Advantages of Green Card: Everything You Need to Know

There are several advantages of a green card for US immigrants. All immigrants must hold a green card before becoming eligible to apply for US citizenship.

Advantages of Green Card
There are several advantages of a green card for U.S. immigrants. All immigrants must hold a green card before becoming eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. If your home country allows dual citizenship, you can apply to become a U.S. citizen, without having to give up your current nationality.
As a green card holder, you stand to enjoy a host of benefits, including but not limited to the following:
You can live in any of the 50 states of the U.S.
You can enter and leave the U.S. any time you want; immigration officials can’t deny you entry.
You don’t need to fill the I-94 form, and you don’t have to worry about your authorized stay becoming expired. The green card status has lifetime validity, though the card needs to be renewed every 10 years.
You can work in the U.S. without needing an employer sponsorship, and you are not subject to restrictions like the type of the job and weekly working hours. Some jobs are only open to U.S. citizens and green card holders due to security clearance requirements; this provides more job opportunities for those with green cards.
You can apply for financial sponsorship from the government for pursuing education.
College and university tuition fees for green card holders are usually three to four times less than that for foreigners.
You can start your own business or even create a corporation.
If you have worked for 40 quarters, about 10 years, then you are eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement.
Unlike a temporary work permit holder, you need not worry about any changes in the immigration rules.
You are legally capable of sponsoring your spouse and unmarried children below 21 years for permanent status.
Most of the banks insist that a non-citizen have a green card or a long-term visa as a prerequisite for sanctioning a mortgage, and some banks have preferential interest rates for green card holders. This makes it easy for holders of green cards to get home loans, also at a lower interest rate.
Some of the states in the U.S. require you to hold a green card to get a license to have certain jobs, such as an insurance agent or real estate agent. Having a green card clears any barriers to holding these positions.
Most of the health and life insurance companies in the U.S. issue policies to immigrants only if they have green cards.
You can buy a car, own property, and get a firearms license just like any American citizen does.
You can make contributions to political campaigns
Except for the right to vote, a green card gives you almost all legal rights that are available to U.S. citizens.

Green Card vs. U.S. Citizenship
A green card and U.S. citizenship both give you the legal right to live and work in the United States. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two.
If you are looking to permanently immigrate to the U.S., obtaining a green card is the first step toward it. Green card holders usually must wait several years before becoming eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, through the process of naturalization.
Other eligible ways of being a U.S. citizen include:
Being born in the U.S.
Being born outside the U.S. to a U.S. citizen
Living as a child in the U.S. when either of the parents is naturalized.
The only way a foreigner can become a U.S. citizen without holding any immigration status is by serving in the U.S. military.

Benefits of Having U.S. Citizenship
U.S. citizenship gives you the permanent right to live in the U.S. It’s the highest status you can get under the U.S. immigration laws.
Some noteworthy benefits of having U.S. citizenship include the following:
It grants you the right to vote.
Compared to green card holders, you can also sponsor more foreign national members of your family to stay with you in the U.S.
Unlike green card holders, U.S. citizens can’t be deported. An immigrant’s citizenship can be cancelled only if it was obtained through fraud.
If you need help with obtaining a green card, you can contact us with your legal needs for our EB- programs.

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CANADA’S NEW BIOMETRICS RULES START JULY 31: HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

RULES KICK IN JULY 31 FOR EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Starting July 31, fingerprints and a photo will become mandatory for many people applying from Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit, permanent residence or for asylum in Canada.

Known as biometrics, the fingerprints and photo will be required for identification purposes. This requirement will be extended to Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Americas on December 31, 2018.

Travellers from visa-exempt countries who are coming to Canada as tourists with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will not be required to provide biometrics. For a full list of exemptions, please see the end of this article.

The Government of Canada says the collection of biometrics will facilitate application processing and simplify entry into Canada for low-risk travellers.

All travellers between the ages of 14 and 79 must provide biometric information, except in asylum cases, for which there is no upper age limit.

The process of providing your biometric information only takes a few minutes and costs CAD $85 for an individual or CAD $170 for a family that is applying together.

HOW IT WORKS

Biometrics are used at both the application and entry into Canada phases. Biometrics allow visa officers to screen applicants for prior criminal convictions or Canadian immigration infractions. A traveller’s biometrics are also used when they enter Canada to confirm his or her identity.

Eight major Canadian airports will have self-serve Primary Inspection Kiosks where fingerprints will be verified, photos confirmed and travellers can make an on-screen declaration.

Fingerprint verification will be on a discretionary basis by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at other Canadian airports and at land ports of entry.

WHERE TO PROVIDE YOUR BIOMETRICS

Outside Canada

If you are outside Canada and applying for the first time, you can provide your biometrics at a Government of Canada-authorized Visa Application Centre (VAC) when you’re applying for a visa in person.

There are 137 VACs in 95 countries where an applicant can give their biometrics.

New VACs have also been announced and are scheduled to open as follows:

  • Kigali, Rwanda — Stockholm, Sweden — and Tel Aviv, Israel: mid-September 2018
  • Athens, Greece — Berlin, Germany — Lyon, France — and Vienna, Austria: early November 2018
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar and Cape Town, South Africa: early December 2018

The federal government says more VACs will open in 2019.

Transitional biometrics collection service points will also open to applicants at the following Canadian missions in Europe:

  • From July 31 to mid-September 2018: The Embassy of Canada in Stockholm, Sweden, for applicants from Sweden and neighbouring countries.
  • From July 31 to early November 2018: The Canadian embassies in Athens, Greece; Berlin, Germany; and Vienna, Austria for applicants from Greece, Germany, Austria and neighbouring countries.
  • From July 31 to early November 2018: The Immeuble Le Bonnel in Lyon, France for applicants from France and neighbouring countries.

Anyone applying online or by mail will need to obtain a Biometrics Instruction Letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and bring a printed copy of it to their nearest VAC.

In the United States, you can go to any of 135 Application Support Centers.

Inside Canada

If you are applying in person in Canada, you will be able to give your biometric information at specified Service Canada locations starting in 2019. Until then, IRCC says anyone applying for a visa, study or work permit or permanent residence in Canada is exempt from the biometrics requirement

HOW LONG ARE BIOMETRICS VALID?

If you are applying for a visitor visa or work/study permit, you only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. However, if you have an application refused and you later reapply, you will need to renew your biometrics.

If you are applying for permanent residence, IRCC says you will need to give your biometrics and pay the fee regardless of whether you provided your biometrics in the past to support a visitor visa, study or work permit application or a different application for permanent residence.

PRIVACY

IRCC says fingerprints are encrypted and sent electronically to the Government of Canada’s secure Canadian Immigration Biometrics Identification System. Personal information is deleted from the collection system once it has been successfully transmitted to this database.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will check an applicant’s fingerprints against the fingerprint records of:

  • criminals,
  • refugee claimants,
  • deportees, and
  • temporary resident applicants.

Any matches to existing RCMP records will be analyzed by the visa officer treating the application, who will use the information to make a final decision.

Canada shares biometric information with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. IRCC says this is done in accordance with Canada’s privacy laws and civil liberties and human rights commitments, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Government of Canada keeps fingerprints on record for 15 years from the time you provide them. They are deleted after this time or if the applicant is granted Canadian citizenship.

EXEMPTIONS

IRCC says the following are exempt from having to provide biometrics:

  • Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents;
  • visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA);
  • children under the age of 14;
  • applicants over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants);
  • heads of state and heads of government;
  • cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business;
  • U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada;
  • refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit;
  • temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress.
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